In a move made to create an even greater amount of cap space, the Houston Rockets have decided to use their amnesty clause on forward Luis Scola, the Rockets 2nd-leading scorer (15.5 points a game) during the regular season.
The Rockets will shed the final 3 years of Scola’s deal and save over $20 million dollars in cap space in the process.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, this move will allow the Rockets to take back multiple contracts in a potential deal for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and still leave the team with enough room to sign a superstar free-agent (Chris Paul?) during the 2013 offseason.
Despite the belief around the league that Howard will not sign an extension with the Rockets, GM Daryl Morey remains confident that he can complete a deal to bring “Superman” to Houston and possibly keep him in a Rockets uniform for the long-term.
By amnestying Luis Scola and cutting ties with arguably their best player last season, it just goes to show how committed this franchise is to acquiring the services of Dwight Howard, even if it only turns out to be just a one-year “rental”.
Houston certainly has a lot of assets that would be appealing to a team like Orlando in possible sign-and-trade scenarios. The team just recently used 3 first-round picks in this years draft to select Royce White, Terrence Jones and Jeremy Lamb. Any one of the three (or certain combinations of the three) could be enticing enough to solidify a deal with the Magic. The ability to take back bloated Magic contracts in the process (Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu) could also sweeten the pot so to speak.
Is this all worth it?
If the Houston Rockets get Dwight Howard, of course it will be.
If they don’t, this will end up being a huge disaster.
Using the amnesty clause on a guy like Scola is a huge risk for the Rockets. Even at 32 years of age, Luis still has a lot of game left in him and can easily continue his current averages of 15 and 7 for the next 3-4 years.
You don’t get rid of a guy like that without some sort of assurance that something better is just around the corner.
The Rockets don’t have that luxury with Howard. All GM Morey is doing is throwing ideas and trades at the wall and seeing what sticks. There is no guarantee that a deal with the Magic for Dwight can be worked out. It’s all hearsay at this point and time. No one knows for sure how this “Dwightmare” is going to end.
Also, why amnesty Scola when you just offered Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik a 3-year, $25 million dollar offer sheet? Going after en elite big man in Howard while all the while paying Asik starters money (the Bulls are unlikely to match the offer) makes absolutely no sense.
The Rockets desperately need to make this magic (no pun intended) happen with Dwight. The team has set themselves up in the best position possible to make one last giant stand in the “Superman Sweepstakes“. With Brooklyn now officially out of the picture, the Houston Rockets (and possibly the L.A Lakers) can offer Orlando the best deal possible (which they more than likely should take, just to end this insanity).
Is it Howard or bust in Houston? I can’t say for sure…..
but it’s awfully close.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports